My classroom was alive with activity and a palpable sense of purpose as I maneuvered around the scattered knots of students, 10 in all, to get a closer look at their design journal entries. Group discussions, the random clatter of keyboard taps and mouse clicks, and the mechanical beeping and whirring of the 3D printer created a surprising harmony as my seventh-graders put the finishing touches on their latest creation — a prototype of a portable electric lamp.
Kids these days are eager to make a difference in the world. Educators can tap into this marvelous impulse by providing real-world learning opportunities in the science classroom. This fall, The Episcopal School of Dallas (ESD) offered Global Scientists to fifth grade students in order to introduce students to water chemistry and the global water crisis. To make it even more interesting, students were connected virtually with partners in Uganda. Here are four strategies ESD used to create an impactful, real-world learning experience with Global Scientists:
Guest blog post by Chuck Ristano, The Independence School
In the fall, seven second graders received a truly interactive, global experience – without having to leave the comfort of our campus! Under the tutelage of Bernadette Gilmore, Director of Academics and Curriculum, these students participated in the after-school STEM program entitled “Global Storybook Engineers.”
While many schools now have a 3D printer in the building, teachers often tell us it isn’t utilized nearly as much as they’d like. For those of you who have a 3D printer that has turned into an expensive doorstop, here are seven ways you can get students using it again to design something that is both creative and useful.
One of the biggest components of game design and development is collaboration. For Triple A game development, teams of artists, designers, engineers, writers, producers, etc., come together to establish a vision, and guide that vision through to completion. During class, we began scratching the surface on what it means to collaborate at such a high level, and why this teamwork is critical for success.
Fairy tales give young children a safe way to explore the world, grapple with the conflict between good and evil and develop their moral compass. But that’s not all. They also inspire curiosity, creativity and problem-solving, making them a natural fit for the STEAM (STEM + arts) classroom. Here’s why:
Access to clean and safe water – a widespread problem in many parts of the world – is not just an abstract concept for a group of children at The Stanwich School in Greenwich, Connecticut. They’re tackling the problem in Global Scientists, an after-school course offered by Level Up Village (LUV). For the duration of the course, the kids are collaborating virtually with partner students in Kosovo by following the same curriculum and exchanging video messages during each class period.
The kids in Connecticut are learning that accessing clean water is a real-life issue for their global partners. In a recent video, a student in Kosovo explained that in his community, families rely on well water that they must filtrate and purify before it is clean and clear enough to drink – a process that can take three to four months!
Guest post by Margaret Ann Minihan at Louise S. McGehee School
At Louise S. McGehee School, an all-girls school in New Orleans, Louisiana, we know about teaching girls. Research tells us that girls learn differently and are motivated differently than male students. Girls learn best through hands-on activities that give them the opportunity to help others and make a difference in the world. In light of this research, McGehee offers its students several service learning opportunities in the regular curriculum.
This year, we’re trying a new program that is further inspiring our girls’ passion for STEAM (STEM + arts). Our students are learning hands-on Science and Engineering skills, while collaborating one-on-one with partners in developing countries. This innovative program, provided by Level Up Village (LUV), is a welcome addition to our afterschool enrichment program.
Level Up Village (LUV) is growing rapidly in New Jersey, where it is running courses at eight schools across the state this fall, including Rutgers Preparatory School, Kent Place School and Delbarton School. A pioneer in Global STEAM (STEM + arts) enrichment, Level Up Village promotes design thinking and one-to-one collaboration on real-world problems between K-9 students in the U.S. and partner students in the developing world.
Are you looking for a way to jazz up the STEAM (STEM + arts) programming at your school? Try combining hands-on STEAM with authentic global learning. Level Up Village partners U.S. students one-on-one with peers in the developing world for meaningful cultural exchange and collaboration on STEAM projects. Students communicate with their global partners each class period via video message exchange to share their findings, learn about each other’s lives and collaborate on real-life applications of their learning.